Did you put in your AirPods like normal today only to discover that one AirPod is not working?

If you’re like me, you reached for your AirPods to jam out to your favorite tunes and were met with frustration and disappointment as one of them just won’t come to life.

The once harmonious duo has become a solo act, leaving you with a muted and unbalanced listening experience.

But fear not, for you are not alone in this AirPod conundrum.

The issue of one AirPod not working has become a widespread frustration, leaving many wondering what the heck happened here and why am I only hearing music from one AirPod?

The most common reason this happens is a build-up of ear gunk and you just need to clean that left AirPod – but they may be other causes.

Below we’ll share those other reasons why one of them may have stopped working, and what you can do to fix the problem.

Most Common Reason Your Left AirPod Is Not Working: It’s Dirty

person holding airpods

The main reason one of your AirPods may not be working is probably due to a build-up of dirt and debris from your ears.

This can happen if you’ve been using your AirPods for an extended period of time without clean them or if you’ve been using them in dusty or dirty environments.

Of course, if you just have dirty ears that you don’t clean on the regular, then that can be the cause as well.

The good news is that cleaning that non-working AirPod is super easy.

To clean your AirPods, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the AirPod from your ear or the charging base.
  2. Dampen a lint-free cloth with water and gently clean the exterior of the AirPod. Make sure that the cloth is NOT wet but just damp. And definitely don’t use any cleaning solutions or submerge the AirPod in water.
  3. Use a dry lint-free cloth to gently pat the AirPod as dry as you can, then
  4. Allow the AirPod to air dry completely before putting it back it the case or using it again.

Most of the time, this is really all you need to do in order to get that non-working AirPod back to proper working order.

Other Reasons And Solutions To Fixing A Non-Working AirPod

If cleaning that AirPod didn’t get it back to working properly, then there are few other troubleshooting tips that we can go through.

Let’s start with resetting your AirPods to try to get them both working properly.

How To Reset Your AirPods

  1. Put your AirPods in their charging case, and close the lid.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Open the lid of your charging case, and put your AirPods in your ears.
  4. Go to Settings > Bluetooth. Or go to Settings > [your AirPods].
    • If your AirPods appear there as connected, tap the More Info button next to your AirPods, tap Forget This Device, then tap again to confirm.
    • If your AirPods don’t appear there, continue to the next step. 
  5. Put your AirPods in their charging case, and keep the lid open. 
  6. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds, until the status light on the front of the case flashes amber, then white.*
  7. Reconnect your AirPods: With your AirPods in their charging case and the lid open, place your AirPods close to your iPhone or iPad. Follow the steps on your device’s screen to re-connect them to your device.

* When you reset your AirPods, the settings for your AirPods also reset.

Once you’ve done the reset, try your AirPods again to see if both the left and right are working.

Turn Your Phones Bluetooth Off And On Again 

The problem you’re having may just be a glitch with your phone’s Bluetooth connection.

And simply turning it off and then on again may fix things right up.

Here’s how to do that –

  1. On your device, go to Settings > Bluetooth and move the slider to turn Bluetooth OFF.
  2. Let 20 seconds pass, then the slide the Bluetooth back to ON.
  3. Connect your AirPods and try again to see if both of them work back to working and pumping out sound.

You Need To Reset Your Phone’s Network Status 

This is a weird one that seems to happen with my iPhone a lot, for some unknown reason.

The downside of this troubleshooting method is that when you do it, it resets everything (including removing your wifi network and password) and you have to completely re-pair all Bluetooth devices.

If you want to give it a try though, here’s how to do it –

  1. On your device, go to Settings > General
  2. Then go to Reset
  3. And then Reset Network Settings

Once you’ve done that and re-paired the AirPods to your device, check again to see if both the left and right are working.

air pods pro

Automatic Ear Detection Needs Disabled

For some people, the non-working AirPod issue is just a glitch with automatic ear detection.

And disabling that feature is the best way to deal with it being the problem.

Here’s how to do that –

  1. On your device, go to Settings > Bluetooth
  2. Press the Info button that is beside your AirPods on the screen.
  3. Scroll until you see Automatic Ear Detection and then deactivate it.

Now, try your AirPods again to see if both the left and right ones are both working for you or not.

You’ve Got A Wonky Battery

Though it isn’t the norm, your left AirPod could have a wonky battery that just craps out before it should.

AirPods have a finite battery life, and when the battery dies, your AirPod won’t work.

To check the battery life of your AirPods, simply go to the battery widget on your iOS device or check the battery life in the “Bluetooth” section of your device’s settings.

If the battery life is low, simply place the AirPod back in the charging case until it’s fully charged.

And it doesn’t charge, it may be a faulty battery.

If you have AppleCare+, you may be able to get your AirPods repaired or replaced.

If you don’t have AppleCare+, you’ll need to purchase a new set of AirPods.

Your AirPod Is Damaged

Despite trying to be careful, we can sometimes drop or otherwise harm our AirPods.

If your AirPod is not working due to physical damage, there is little that can be done to fix the issue.

However, if you have AppleCare+, you may be able to get your AirPods repaired or replaced.

If you don’t have AppleCare+, you’ll need to purchase a new set of AirPods.

Final Word

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to tackling the bane of your existence – the dreaded one non-functioning AirPod.

No longer do you have to suffer through a muffled and unbalanced audio experience.

From diagnosing battery issues to wiping away stubborn dirt, this comprehensive guide has got you covered.

With the simple steps outlined, you’ll be back to grooving to your favorite beats in no time.

With a newfound sense of tech savvy, you’ll be able to command the room with your now fully functioning AirPods.

Say goodbye to the frustration and disappointment, and hello to a symphony of sound.

Let the music play, let your body move, and let the good times roll – your AirPods are back in business!

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